May 15, 2024 PC Minutes

SOUTH HERO PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES                                       May 15, 2024


Members Present: Sandy Gregg (Chair); Michele Gammal (Vice-Chair); David Roy; Don Bedard.

Others Present: Ken Little (Fire District #4); Martha Taylor-Varney (ZA)


6:00PM – S. Gregg called the meeting to order.


Changes to the Agenda

The Discussion with Ken Little of Fire District #4 was moved to the top of the agenda.


Discuss Fire District #4 Needs and Support

  1. Gregg explained that sidewalks on South St. are a priority of the Commission. Ken Little said his preference would be for future sidewalks to be on the east side of the road; the water lines are on the west side of the road until beyond the village district. There is an 8” line to the Congregational Church, then a 4” line beyond that.  The 4-inch line needs to be increased.  The lines are buried approx. 4 feet deep.  There was discussion about whether a water line upgrade could be combined with a sidewalk project.  D. Bedard commented that the evacuation plan for the school is down South St. to the Church.  Would easements be needed from property owners to build a sidewalk within the Town ROW?  Yes.  There was additional discussion on specs for sidewalks – ADA requirements, etc.  Could a sidewalk and Fire District project apply for a joint grant?  The cost of upgrading the 4” line to 8” is about $1 million.


Public Comment

There was none.


Old Business

  1. Traffic Study on Hochelaga Rd./Speed Limit Ordinance: Taylor-Varney told the Board that the traffic speed study on Hochelaga Rd. was completed last summer, and results were sent to the Town last month. The report agrees that the speed can be reduced from 35mph to 25mph.  The Selectboard has decided to compile all Town road speed limits into a single ordinance to satisfy the requirements of the County Court judge in North Hero.  The public hearing is tentatively scheduled for June 24th during the Selectboard’s regular meeting.
  2. Sidewalk Mapping Project: The Commission members updated the maps and sent them to Kyle at NRPC.  Discussion on scheduling a “Sidewalk Walk-a-Bout” was postponed to the next meeting.


New Business

  1. Town Appropriation to Friends of Northern Lake Champlain Gammal told the Commission that Bridget Butler of FNLC will be asking the Selectboard to include a $1000 donation in their next budget discussions. North Hero, Isle LaMotte, and Alburg have already committed $1000 each.



Minutes of May 1, 2024

Don Bedard moved to approve the minutes of May 1, 2024; D. Roy second.  All in favor.


Administrator’s Report

  1. The Colchester Planning Commission sent a Notice of Public Hearing for updates to their Zoning bylaws.
  2. The May 30th VLCT Zoning and Development Forum will include discussion on Environmental Court procedures and writing proper DRB decisions, and a Legislative wrap-up that will include discussion on recent Act 250o changes. The forum will be on the TV screen in the Boardroom for those who would like to attend.  The forum will be from 9AM to noon.
  3. Martha suggested that the Commission consider adding Conditional Use review to Site Plan review for restaurants in the village zoning districts. The Commission agreed to consider it.



  1. Meeting House – The Meeting House Foundation has produced a donor packet that Gregg asked the Commission members to review for constructive comments.
  2. Town Office Committee – Roy said that the committee is considering both sides of Rt 2 (next to the current location or across the road by the proposed Town Park). There will also be a meeting scheduled soon with Town Office employees to discuss their needs in a new office building.
  3. Planning Commission chair Sandy Gregg announced her resignation from the Commission effective June 5. The members expressed their appreciation for her years of dedicated service to the Planning Commission.  There was discussion about filling what will be 2 open seats on the 5-member Board.


Next Meeting

The next meeting will be June 5, 2024 at 6PM at the Town Office.



7:25PM – D. Roy moved to adjourn; D. Bedard second.  All in favor.


Respectfully submitted,

Martha Taylor-Varney, ZA



Signed: ________________________________________ Date: _____________________

For the Planning Commission


These minutes are unofficial until approved at the next regularly scheduled meeting.  All motions were unanimous unless otherwise indicated.